New Website Offers Guide to Health and Homelessness Services Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

April 7, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated April 6, 2020, 11:45 PM)
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Physician Assistant Christopher Piel treats a homeless man’s injury during West Hawaii Community Health Center’s monthly outreach visits. (PC: Alysa Lavoie)

A new website has been established to help homeless care providers navigate new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Behavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group (BHHSURG) has launched a website to ensure the continuity of coverage of essential health and homelessness services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website features resources for providers who work with mental health and homeless populations, including provider Q & A webinars, weekly newsletters, updates from partners and guidance on using telehealth and personal protective equipment.

The site also contains information for clients and consumers, such as guidance on everyday prevention and how to access services. The goal is to enable providers and the people they serve to find answers to common questions and to provide them with updates to behavioral health homelessness and other social services during this challenging crisis.

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“This website will help us stay connected to our providers and the community, allowing us to share important COVID-19 news and guidance statewide,” said Eddie Mersereau, Deputy Director of Behavioral Health at the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. “Behavioral health and homelessness services remain essential during this worldwide pandemic and will be vital far beyond its resolution as a result of economic, social and psychological impacts.”

The BHHSURG was formed to oversee the majority of the state’s public behavioral health and homelessness services systems. Partners include the Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration, the Governor’s Office, Department of Human Services’ Homeless Program Office and all four counties.

To view the website or to subscribe to the BHHSURG newsletter, visit bhhsurg.hawaii.gov.

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